So, you’ve just tied the knot—or perhaps the question is on its way—and you and your partner are finally moving in together. It’s an exciting milestone in a loving relationship, but it’s not without its difficulties. Blending two lives together can be challenging, especially when you might have different ideas about decor style and which items should stay or go.
Whether you’re moving into your partner’s place or they’re moving in with you, there are six key things to keep in mind when moving in with a significant other or spouse so you can keep the peace and settle into a blended life with the one you love.
1. Decide What You’re Going to Keep, Toss, or Donate
Start going through your items on your own and deciding what you want to keep, throw away, or donate. Sure, there’s plenty that you want to bring with you to your shared space, but it’s also likely there won’t be enough space for everything in your home. Once you’ve whittled down your keeps, ask your partner to look at what you plan to keep and see if you can narrow that down even further based on the amount of space you two will have.
Find Space for Some Sentimental Items
Just because you’re blending your household with a significant other or spouse doesn’t mean that you have to share everything with them. You and your partner should still have your separate spaces away from each other that allow alone time to keep the relationship fresh. This includes designated places for your own keepsakes, memories, or other sentimental items where you can enjoy or display them. For instance, family photos, artwork, old t-shirts, books, vinyl records, or other collections might be important to you, so prioritize which things you want to make room for and what items you can keep in storage. No matter if you claim a corner or an entire room for your personal stuff, make sure you have access to the physical belongings that spark joy, peace, creativity, or good memories.
2. Plan to Purchase Common Area Items Together
When moving in with your partner, it can be hard to feel comfortable when your items still feel very split. To help the space feel more blended, make a plan to purchase a shared item together, like a new bed or couch. Shopping for furniture together that you both will be using is a bonding experience because you can get a feel for what the other person likes and what’s important to them during large purchases. It also allows you the chance to learn how to compromise and communicate with each other.
Decide on Decor Styles
Similar to purchasing common area items together, it’s also a good idea to decide how your space will be decorated as a couple. This will bring you both closer while also creating a sense of cohesion throughout the space.
3. Create Your Own Personal Oasis
Just because you’re living with your significant other or spouse doesn’t mean that alone time disappears. Merging lives can sometimes feel like you’re losing your own identity, so having your own space can help you maintain that. In addition, alone time is a good way to decompress if you’ve had a long day or need space after a heated argument. After all, they say distance makes the heart grow fonder (even if it’s only a room away). Set aside an oasis for yourself so that you can recharge and express yourself freely.
4. Have an Escape Plan
No one ever wants to think about the death of a relationship, especially when you’ve just moved in together—but if you aren’t married or don’t plan to get married, it might be wise to draw up a cohabitation agreement. You’re choosing to blend your lives together, after all, and that often means sharing finances, household responsibilities, and ways of life. Of course you may believe you two will be together forever; however, it’s still important to protect not only yourself but also your partner. Having a legal document put together is simply a good business decision. That way, if things do go south, you can easily divvy up your items without added strife or further legal involvement.
5. Be Willing to Compromise
From start to finish, all relationships require both of you to compromise at one point or another. It’s not always comfortable, but making a list of things you’re willing to compromise over will help you prepare for any sacrifices you may have to make. When you are compromising with your spouse or significant other, tell them why this matters to you. Why do you prefer your mattress to theirs (because “It’s mine” may not be the most productive answer)? Why do you prefer dark wood furniture to light wood furniture? Don’t forget to tell your partner what you’re willing to give up in return.
Things Won’t Always Be Fair
Compromising doesn’t always mean that everything will be completely fair. There are some things you simply may have to give up when moving in with your partner. It could be as small as how many throw pillows you like on the couch to as big as you paying more in rent because you make more income. It’s important to remember that your sacrifices may not always be forever. It could be a matter of space, money, or even preference. If there’s something you want to change about the space or even the living arrangements you’ve made, be willing to openly communicate with your partner about it and bring valuable reasons for this change to the table.
6. Decide What Should Be Stored for the Future
Regardless of how much you and your partner decide to get rid of, there might still inevitably be a few items that you both agree shouldn’t be parted with. Maybe it’s your great-grandmother’s china cabinet. Perhaps it’s a large piece of furniture you recently bought before that just isn’t going to fit in your shared space but would be perfect for your next home. Items that would have a place in the future or even “maybe” items that you two decided on together are perfect candidates for storage.
Store Your “Future” Items with Storage Express
Whether you have large items to store for your next home or items you’re still on the fence about their fate, look to the self storage experts at Storage Express to help you unlock the perfect unit to store them! We offer plenty of facilities throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee with heated and cooled as well as non-climate-controlled storage units. With dimensions ranging from 5×5 to 10×40 and more, you can find the right storage space for you using our unit size guide. If you’re ready to rent your unit, call or text us 24/7 to get started or visit a Storage Express facility near you today!